Lawmaker urges US govt to press India over situation in occupied Kashmir – Newspaper

WASHINGTON: As resentment against the annexation of Kashmir by India increases, one US lawmaker urged the Trump administration to "intervene" while another asked India to allow cashmere to decide their future.

"It is a very important issue for the administration and the administration must take it more seriously," said Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “At the end of the day, we need the administration to intervene.

"I have been very dismayed by what is happening in Kashmir. I totally disagree with what Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi did," said Congressman Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia who was also a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland.

In equating Mr. Modi with other autocratic leaders in the world, Mr. Beyer said: "You see this happening with autocratic leaders around the world, dividing people, establishing one religion against another, establishing one race against another. ".

The two lawmakers were talking to journalists on Wednesday after an event in memory of the victims of September 11. Referring to the UN resolutions and the promises of India and Pakistan to hold a referendum in Kashmir, Beyer said: "In Kashmir, years ago it was decided that their future will be decided by a vote of the people and that did not happen."

The congressman also rejected India's decision of August 5 to annex Kashmir and called it an inappropriate military incursion.

“And this annexation, I strongly disapprove. More Americans will face this inappropriate military incursion, ”he said.

Senator Kaine, who is also a former governor of Virginia and president of the National Democratic Committee, said Kashmir was one of the key issues that US lawmakers had addressed with the administration since returning from the summer recess earlier this week.

"We have just returned from the break and I am starting with meetings with my colleagues and government representatives so we can promote greater stability," he said.

Senator Kaine said that, as a member of the Senate's foreign relations panel, he has scheduled meetings with representatives of several governments, including the US administration, to understand the situation.

He said he was doing it "because what is happening is unacceptable" in Kashmir and "we have to find out if there are measures we can take to reduce tensions."

The two statements reflect a growing understanding in Washington that India may be the world's largest democracy, but what it has done in Kashmir is not only undemocratic, it is also illegal and violates international norms and treaties.

Washington experts say that while Indian officials may have dropped evidence that they might be taking some administrative measures in Kashmir, they did not tell the Americans that they were going to merge the occupied valley with the union.

This has added to the annoyance of Washington with Indian action and is reflected in the repeated offer of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to mediate between India and Pakistan.

It is also difficult for India to justify its action and in its public and private commitments in Washington, Indian officials and diplomats often try to redirect the conversation to terrorism.

Posted on Dawn, September 13, 2019



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